Lapping it up

Kimi RaikkonenI thoroughly enjoyed the Spanish Grand Prix on the weekend for many reasons. It was a dull old race, as it always is in Spain, but I didn’t care.

First and foremost, I’m a Kimi Raikkonen fan. None of the other drivers on the grid matter much in comparison to him as far as I’m concerned.

And what a magnificent victory it was, the sort of win that he deserves, lights to flag domination in a reliable, solid car that was the class of the field, against a team mate who was doing his best but couldn’t get anywhere near. It was a proper, crushing win from the Ferrari team leader.

I’ve been doing a bit of number crunching. I’m quite enjoying this. On a track like Barcelona, which the teams know so well thanks to zillions of miles of testing, a track that includes every type of corner – tight and slow, medium, open and fast, plus a long straight – the differences between cars and drivers will always be reduced. It’s a great indicator of form, both of the men and the machines. So here’s my favourite number from the race – 6. That’s the number of laps that Felipe Massa was quicker than Kimi Raikkonen before the second set of pit stops started on lap 46 (after which, the Ferraris were no longer racing). So, 6 of 46, 6 of 46. Hmm. That’s 13 per cent.

And Felipe, for all those laps, for all 46, had a lighter car. My my, 6 of 46 in a lighter car. Kimi was on form alright, because Massa isn’t a bad driver, as we saw in Bahrain.

In those six laps, the total time advantage for Massa over Kimi tots up to 1.046 seconds, or 0.174 per lap. I can’t be bothered to work out the total amount of time Kimi racked up over Massa in those other 40 laps, but it was a hell of a lot more than a second.

My favourite bit of all happened just before that second round of stops. Massa banged in a 1:21.801, the fastest lap of the race up until that point, pushing to put pressure on Kimi in an attempt to maximise his chances.

Then Kimi countered with a 1:21.670, THE fastest lap of the race. He was delayed in the pits but it didn’t matter, he had Massa’s measure… And on this day, Massa was Kimi’s only real competition.

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